NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Kjetil Bjorvatn

Norwegian School of Economics
Bergen, Norway

E-Mail: Kjetil.Bjorvatn@nhh.no

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2015How Strong are Ethnic Preferences?
with Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge, Simon Galle, Edward Miguel, Daniel N. Posner, Bertil Tungodden, Kelly Zhang: w21715
Ethnic divisions have been shown to adversely affect economic performance and political stability, especially in Africa, but the underlying reasons remain contested, with multiple mechanisms potentially playing a role. We utilize lab experiments to isolate the role of one such mechanism—ethnic preferences—which has been central in both theory and in the conventional wisdom about the impact of ethnic differences. We employ an unusually rich research design, collecting multiple rounds of experimental data with a large sample of 1,300 subjects in Nairobi; employing within-lab priming conditions; and utilizing both standard and novel experimental measures, as well as implicit association tests. The econometric approach was pre-specified in a registered pre-analysis plan. Most of our tests yiel...
 
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